The following are the statistics of where I have my readership has come from over the past 3 months:
Breaking it down
I regularly check my statistics and know they have changed over time. After the site stated the sole source of my readership was Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
Facebook is, of-course, the largest social network in the world with somewhere near 2 billion members worldwide. Experts say to make best use of the site your posts should excite and be relevant to your network. Include pictures and a hashtag as well.
Being Noticed by Google
When you start your blog you will have too few pages for search engines to notice you exist. This is true, even if you implement the Google Analytics plug-in for your site. Having built this site from the first post it has been by monitoring my statistics that I know that I had negligible traffic attributed to search engines before reaching 50 pages on this site. This is an experience I have also observed with blogs I have created for clients.
I could find my pages by title or key word, but was not able to gain any traffic through searches. The specialist nature of this site, being focused on writing and blogging, may explain this, but I believe it has more to do with reaching a critical mass and being taken seriously by search engines.
One thing it is also possible to find with Google Searches is some idea of geographical location. Expand out the report and you can see the localised search engine. Mine include readership from USA, Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, UK, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Norway, and other locations around the globe.
Another aspect of search is the use of images. Ensure that you document the image using the “Alt Text” for all the images you use. This has two roles. If the image cannot be displayed because of a technical difficulty then this alternative text is displayed instead. Secondly it provides search engines a method to search the images you use on your site. Image search will bring in the occasional reader.
Role of Social Networks
According to these statistics approximately 65% of my traffic comes from posting on Social Media. It proves that writers have to consider the value of social sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and others as a means of publicity. I have also included Live.com in this list as it is loosely associated with the social activity of your Microsoft account. Remember your mood may impact your how you interact on social sites but they are your principle publicity engine.
For your information Linkis is a link customization service for boosting social presence, associated with Twitter, so I have included this within social network traffic.
You may validly ask how come LinkedIn is not included on my list? There is a simple answer — I don’t believe the target audience members for this site are not included in my LinkedIn contact list. Remember each social network has a slightly different focus. Consider who is a part of that network versus who is in your target audience. LinkedIn generates larger readership for other sites I work on.
Links from other Blogs/Sites
One of the greatest forms of flattery is to have others mention you. I have always been an advocate of providing links to other sites from whom you find useful stuff (information, data, quotes, etc.).
To have others provide links to your site can occur in many ways. The most valuable is to have another site mention your content. There are, of course, plenty of ways to cross promote your work, perhaps by writing guest posts on another site. The most effective is always having other writers provide un-prompted links.
SEO specialists, like Neil Patel, of QuickSprout, say that the mot effective way to generate in-bound links to your material is by providing outbound links to other people’s work. I agree it is an important method, especially linking to those sites you regularly visit. When combined with commenting on other people’s sites it brings reciprocal traffic. You comment on their site and they spend a little time looking at yours (especially if they have an interest in the material you offer). Perhaps you will cause them to critique something you have written and this new piece, because of the link, brings with it traffic. It may require you to generate forty outbound links to bring one inbound link, but each inbound link is precious and should be treated with respect.
Another associated method of gaining traffic is Gravatar (a service for providing globally recognised avatars), when you leave a comment. These avatars are globally recognised because millions of websites use them to identify users. You should spend time creating a good Gravatar profile, a profile that will help people understand just who you are and what websites you use.
Stumble Upon and Social Bookmarking sites
I do regularly add material to StumbleUpon, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Digg and other social bookmarking sites. The role of social bookmarking is to flag pages you like to other people sharing your tastes. I have found them to provide a consistent small volume of traffic, this quarter it was StumbleUpon that provided the links, the previous quarter it was Reddit. Monitoring this over several years (for several sites I manage) I notice traffic comes in waves then not at all for months on end. But you should ignore social bookmarking at your peril.
Even though they only represented 2% of the traffic this quarter you should not ignore the impact they can bring. 2% of 1,000 readers is 20 people, these are 20 people that could be precious to you.
WordPress and Blogger
If you have created a blog through either WordPress or Blogger there is a small persistent social impact from having an up-to-date profile with visible links. Other WordPress bloggers who follow your site, automatically, get notifications when you publish a new page. The recent posts from all the sites you follow are available on your WordPress Reader, where you can look at sites you follow, discover contents from recommended sites or search for content.
The benefit may only be occasional, but it is worth having. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and others can see your page.
As this is a WordPress site I can only read WordPress sites. If your blog is on Blogger similar functionality exists for the sites you follow on Blogger. A pity neither WordPress nor Blogger recognise their competitor blogs. You can also add sites you follow to a feed reader, like Feedly, Flipboard, or Feedspot.
How Long do People Stay?
Through all the statistics available the number of pages people look at is interesting. For GobbledeGoox I currently obtain 1.9 page reads per visit. Knowing how many pages people read per visit is helpful. If your score is low, e.g. 1.01 would indicate that visitors are simply reading the one post that initiated their interest on your site and little else. One aspect I need to work on is the number of pages my readership view, my current target is to reach more than 2.
Some sites I have worked on get a score higher than 2.5 pages per visitor. This is excellent news, but these are sites are company blogs and not a blog built by one person.
Most Popular Articles?
What should you write more about? This is a frequent question that bloggers ask. If you look at your statistics, particularly looking at the most popular posts and pages it is possible to see those that have driven most interest. What has been you most popular content over all time? Is it the post on “How the Beatles introduced you to Popular Music” or “Mick Jagger’s love life”?
Knowing this can help you plan what to write next, returning to successful subjects can help you drive further readership. If you look at all time statistics it tends to be the best guide here. The most popular over all time for this site include:
- Intrigue: Thought: What will you be Writing Next?
- The Sentence — Simple and Clutter Free
- Hate Facebook? 9 Ways it can Build Blog Traffic
- Web Based Articles: Make your Writing Timeless
- The Case of the “Fake” Guru?
Some of these are subjects I wish to cover again. Your most recent contributions are unlikely to appear on top on the all time list because they have not had time to gather momentum. This is one reason to constantly reference back to your earlier posts.
At the other end of the spectrum are the subjects to avoid, those having the poorest all-time readership.
The Source of your Readership
Knowing the source of your readers can help you identify their needs. For example if many of your readers come from an on-line directory then one option you may consider is advertising in that publication. This may bring more readers.